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ANTARCTICA

What an amazing destination. We completed our 7 continents when we landed here in Feb 2022.  The normal route is to fly to the tip of South America (Ushuaia, Argentina) and then cruise across the Drake Passage to the Antarctica peninsula.  Crossing the Drake takes 1.5-2 days and then you normally spend at least 5 days in the peninsula with 2 trips to land per day via zodiacs. There are also longer cruises which visit Falkland, Georgia or Shetland Islands in addition. You see tons of peguins, seals and whales and can even do a polar plunge into the icy waters if you so desire. The scenery was amazing with beautiful sunrise/sunsets, icebergs and snowcapped mountains.





  

TANZANIA SAFARI

Our first African safari was to Tanzania in Dec 2014 and we visited Manyara National Park, Serengeti National Park, Ngorongoro Crater Conservation area and Tarangire National Parks.  They were all unique and gave us our first up close experience with these wild animals in their natural habitat.  This trip ruined our ability to enjoy a zoo experience ever again.  We had the fortune of seeing the great migration of wildebeests and zebra make their way across the Serengeti. We spent 6 full days in a safari vehicle traveling between the parks and often enjoyed lunches along the way while watching wildlife.  For travelers who are animal lovers, an African safari is strongly recommended. 

DANUBE RIVER CRUISE

Taking a river cruise in Europe is a great way to see a variety of cities.  We took an Avalon cruise from Linz to Budapest in Sep 2019 and spent a few days in Prague prior to starting the river cruise.  Prague is a magical city of bridges known for its beer halls and we enjoyed a fantastic foodie tour and toured the old Jewish quarter there.  We love the slow pace of the river cruises which allows you to relax and take in the excellent food and spending a few evenings in some great cities. Our cruise was an Active and Discovery tour which had hiking, biking and kayaking excursions.  We enjoyed a couple of days in Vienna and sailing into Budapest with the sun shining and the Parliament coming into view from the top deck of the ship was special. In Budapest we highly recommend taking in the ruin bars and one of the many thermal baths.

TURKS & CAICOS

We are often asked what is our favorite beach location we have visited. We would have to say Grace Bay Beach in Turks & Caicos. The color/calmness of the water, being able to take long beach walks and excellent restaurants means we will definitely return.  We visited here in April 2021 celebrating Ron's retirement from corporate life.

ROCKY MOUNTAINEER

The Canadian Rockies will always be special to us as this is where we honeymooned. We have taken the Rocky Mountaineer twice and really enjoyed it.  The scenery is spectacular, food amazing and service is impeccable.  Both times we have taken the Vancouver to Lake Louise First Passage to the West route and are looking forward to doing the new Rockies to the Red Rocks route from Denver to Moab in summer of 2023 and the Vancouver to Jasper route via Whistler and Quesnel in 2025. We have always enjoyed our times in the Vancouver area as there are so many things to do from Stanley Park to Victoria to Whistler.

IRELAND

The Emerald Isle never disappoints. The Irish people are always welcoming and friendly despite their history of challenges. Our favorite area in Ireland is Dingle and the Dingle peninsula.  The scenery is breathtaking and you never have to walk far to find great local music and a fresh pint in one of the Dingle pubs. You just never know who you might meet in one of them. When you think of Ireland you don't think about the food, but during our last visit we were very impressed, especially with the seafood. Other areas we have visited and strongly recommend are the Connemara area, Derry and the Giant's Causeway, Belfast and Dublin. Be sure to take in the Guinness Store House in Dublin and there are plenty of opportunities to visit some Irish Whisky distilleries. Our favorite was Jameson Distillery in Middleton (near Cork). And who can resist staying in one of their beautiful castle hotels.  

ICELAND

We visited Iceland over Thanksgiving 2019 in search of the Northern Lights and had great success.  We saw the Northern Lights 3 of the 5 nights we were there and also toured around as much as we could. We only had about 5 hours of daylight per day so had to plan accordingly.  Some of our highlights in addition to Northern Lights were the Blue Lagoon, several waterfalls (Seljalandsfoss, Gullfoss, Skogafoss), Diamond Beach), Þingvellir National Park, Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon and the DC3 plane crash. We cannot wait to go back during the summer months as only scratched the surface of what Iceland has to offer. 

DUBAI

We visited Dubai in Jan 2022 during the World Expo. It was a fascinating city, way more Westernized and modern than I had anticipated. The marina area we stayed in had several 50+ story skyscrapers and the whole area was a desert just 20-25 years ago. They had an excellent subway system which we used to visit the World Expo, Burj Khalifa, Dubai old town and the malls.The kids acheived a bucket list item by going sky diving over the palm. We did a day trip to Oman and went snorkeling and saw several dolphins in the Oman fjords (Norway of Arabia). Food was excellent but it was challenging to find any alcoholic beverages (when we did, they were very expensive). Weather was fabulous with highs near 80 and sunny every day. Highly recommend visiting in their winter as summer would be too hot. We rode dune buggies out in the desert and saw the world's tallest building and only 7 star hotel. We loved the World Expo and learning more about all the other countries (our bucket list keeps growing) and hope to visit World Expo 2025 in Osaka, Japan 

PATAGONIA

We visited the Argentina side of Patagonia in Jan 2019 and it was probably the best hiking experience we have had. The hike to FitzRoy from El Chalten (pictured at left) is a 15-20 mile day hike where we experienced all 4 seasons in one day. We had sun and 70's early in the hike and snow flurries as we made the turn back to town.  There are several great hiking trails in the El Chalten area. We also stayed in Calafate and visited the Perito Merino glacier, which is part of the third largest freshwater reserve on the planet. You can sit and watch it calve from land right in front of you. Argentina is known for its great steaks and malbec so we frequently took advantage of this and the strong US dollar made it very affordable. We spent some time in Buenos Aires and really enjoyed exploring it for a couple of days. We will definitely go back and look forward to exploring Torres del Paine National Park on the Chile side of Patagonia as well.